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Announcing This Year’s BtoB Social Media Marketing Awards Winners!

February 22, 2013 at 10:19 am PST

aEvery year, BtoB’s Social Media Marketing Awards are rewarded to companies that exhibit excellence with an innovative social media marketing campaign or initiative for a number of different award categories including Best Use of Twitter, Best Use of Facebook, Best Use of Mobile and more. A few days ago, BtoB revealed the lucky winners and runners-up of this year’s awards.

I’m proud to announce that Cisco Systems was honored with a few different winning titles. The Cisco Global Mobile Events  App and the Social Media Training & Certification Program won within the “Best Use of Mobile” and “Best Closed Community” categories, respectively, while the Cisco Systems Facebook page was deemed runner-up for “Best Use of Facebook.”

Congratulations to all winners who will be recognized and presented with awards during BtoB’s Digital Edge Live conference to be held in San Francisco, CA on March 20, 2013. In the meantime, you can check out the complete list of 2013 BtoB Social Media Marketing Award winners for each of the various categories.

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Bringing Up the Social Media Baby

According to a Nielsen study, social media is no longer in its infancy.  No kidding.

During the November military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, social media played a very grown-up role.  What distinguished it from past politically-charged social media exchanges was the participation of state and pseudo-state spokespersons.  Official announcements were issued by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigade via Twitter and Facebook in near real-time.

  • The IDF announced the initiation of the military campaign via Twitter, and tweeted in caps that it had “ELIMINATED” Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike.
  • The Brigade responded with threats of retaliation; both sides posted minute-by-minute updates as the fighting unfolded.

The evolution of social media into an official communications venue should come as no surprise.  It follows a time-honored pattern of disruptive ideas and technologies gaining acceptability as they move into the mainstream.  The Nielsen Social Media 2012 study tells us that 30 percent of individuals’ mobile device time is spent accessing social media.  That qualifies as mainstream.

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How Do You Give Back?

Comment how you give back and 4 meals will be donated to the World Food Programme!

It’s almost November, which means we are getting into the season of giving. Have you thought about how you might give back this holiday season? Well, Cisco can give you a head start…

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A Shameless Plug: The Art of the Data Center

October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

One of the first things many companies do at the start of a Data Center project is look around to see what other companies have done.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a book that showcases innovative Data Centers and has insights from the people who designed and operate them?

I thought so, too.

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I’d like a side order of “tweets”, a blog, and a dozen “likes” please.

October 5, 2012 at 9:41 am PST

Like most social media users, I use sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Blogger, to reach out to family and friends, network with colleagues, and share personal blogs.  These venues make my social conversations both manageable and enjoyable.  However, when I sought to utilize social media as a way to market our department brand, I went from a fast food menu of the big three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to a dizzying array of social media networks from which to select.  Google+, Chimein, Dribbble, Picasa, Pinterest, Digg, and Instagram are just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of social media networks that number in the hundreds.  Add in the many international social media networks found around the world and what were a few simple choices, became an overwhelming social media menu; and new social media networks continue to pop up faster than I could say, “I’ll have fries with that.”

With so many choices, how would I pick and choose the most effective social media networks that would provide the perfect social media options for my branding plan?  After all, part of the “mystique” is the desire to utilize the next social media network de jour.   An impossible task that would have had me spending more time on investigating every social media option rather than actually using available networks productively, so I backed away from the menu and outlined a social media strategy by asking the following questions:

  1. Who was my audience?
  2. What was the purpose of using social media?
  3. How would I dedicate and manage my time resource and stay involved?
  4. Budget – do you have one?

My audience is made up of fast moving and customer driven, professional technical teams who digest information quickly and move on.  Social media is the vehicle that would put the information I need to get into our engineers’ hands at real time speed and with interaction exchange.   I listened to their conversations and identified topics of interest and will present information in an engaging format that will enlist their attention.  Visuals, such as pics and videos, and sound bite titles, such as tweets with links, are most successful for this group.  Additionally, by employing gamification methods as a fun teaching tool, I would build awareness in a group that is often too busy to engage.  Factor in that I had both a finite amount of time I could dedicate to these resources and encourage active participation and no budget, I would have to use free, social media resources and utilize the tools they provide for metrics oversight.

Being able to answer the above questions allowed me to narrow my choices, from the many social media networks available, to purpose-specific and globally popular social media platforms.  With recognized voices such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, most of my audience was already familiar with these social media networks and would provide an easy learning curve to those who were not.

There are countless social media tools out there and not every tool works best for all business plans.  Define your social media goals and the outcome you want before you begin selecting from the social media menu and if you are still not sure what to do, invest in a social media agency.  They can assist you in defining a social media plan with the outcome you desire.

Resources:

  1. Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
  2. Building a Successful Social Media Program – Cisco Learning Catalog Course

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